Navigating the dreaded school car line
There's the vehicles the size of aircraft carriers with one tiny tot inside that cut off a parent patiently waiting to make a turn. There's the always-late parent who skirts the school's traffic pattern to sneak into the parking lot by going the wrong way from the back and shoving their kid out to run across the parking lot before the bell rings. There's the always-early mom who parks in the car line, gets out to chat with the other early birds and even runs into the classroom for "just a sec" while the line waits ... and waits ... and waits.
Here are some tips to help make the school's car line move along more smoothly:
- Aim to be in line 20 minutes before school starts, even earlier if it's raining. (For afternoon pickup, I aim for getting there 10 minutes after school ends so that the early birds don't spike my blood pressure.)
- Patience is easier to muster when you plan realistically. Most car lines will take a minimum of 15 minutes from start to finish, more if you are arriving at peak times or on a rainy day.
- Read and observe the traffic pattern and rules.
- If you park and walk, observe and use the proper pedestrian crossings.
- Do not let your child out of the car in the morning until you have reached the drop off area in front of the school. Do not let your child cross the parking lot to meet you in the afternoons.
- If your child has a cell phone, call him when you are in line so he can be on the lookout for your car (assuming this won't get him in trouble at your school). Display your child's name on a placard in your windshield.
- Please stay off the cell phone when the car line is active.
Have I missed anyone's pet peeves?
~ Sharon Kennedy Wynne
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